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Being a Friend

Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things.  ~Author Unknown

Spending time with a friend at Idlewild Park 2004 Aunt Heather Piper
Kyle found a friend at Idlewild Park. 2004

As I walked into Santa’s Workshop at Kyle’s school, I recognized some familiar faces.  Even though I forget names, not my strongest attribute, I remember the faces from over the years at the occasional school activity, play, Halloween parade, etc.  These very active group of parents are too sweet, all calling me Aunt Heather.  LOVE that!  The school and those children are really lucky to have them!  They are a real asset.  As I was getting situated and ready for the first group of kids to shop, a mother approached me confirming who I was.  She said, “You’re Kyle’s Aunt, right?”  I said, “Yes,” and she proceeded to tell me her son’s name and what grade her son was in.

Then she got really serious and I could tell she had something important to say.  She proceeded to tell me that Kyle and her son are friends and they play at recess.  I didn’t think anything of it until she further explained what this meant to her and her son.  She told me that she is having a difficult time with her son and the other kids. She said, “I won’t trouble you with the details but I don’t know what to do.  I’ve tried everything, looked into different schools, but I don’t know.”  My heart was breaking for this obviously upset mother and her son. She had tears in her eyes and I really just wanted to give this woman a big hug.

She never did tell me the details of her son’s problems with the other students but she did go into detail about Kyle’s actions.  She told me that her son’s teacher introduced him to Kyle one day, and Kyle befriended this little boy.  You see, they both love playing Lego’s and so Kyle would bring his stockpile of Lego’s for the boys to share and play with during recess.  They seemed to bond instantly.  As I mentioned, the boys are in different grades, but that doesn’t mean anything to Kyle.  He doesn’t care if a kid is younger or older than him, Kyle just sees a kid and likes being a kid.  As far as I can tell, he’s not a ‘clicky’ kid or judgmental.  He’s just Kyle and I love him for that!

Ryan at Sacred Heart fieldtrip - Aunt Heather Piper
Ryan with his class at Sacred Heart - field-trip

The mom elaborated on how much Kyle befriending her son meant to them both.  This small action helped her son cope with his school situation.  This mother was so sincere and endearing.  The praise she was giving Kyle made my eyes a little moist and gave me the need to give Kyle a big hug.  I just wanted to tell him how proud I was of him.

When Kyle finally got to the classroom, I pulled him aside and asked him about his friend.  He said, “Ya, I play with him sometimes at recess.  We play Legos.”  I tried to quickly explain how much this meant to the boy and his mom, but I could see Kyle didn’t really get it.  He wasn’t being a friend to get his brownie points, he was doing it to be friendly.  I did tell him how proud I was of him.  Then, to make my heart completely melt, he asked if he could buy his new friend something and give it to him for Christmas.  Wow!!  I said, “Yes, I think that would be a nice gesture.”  Of course Kyle picked the green slime as a gift.  So maybe that put me on the naughty list with the mother, but I couldn’t deny Kyle his gift choice.  It took him a while to pick it out and he was really excited about the gift.  He said, “I know he would really like this.”

Markelle and Aunt Heather Piper share a smile
Me and Markelle share a smile.

Well needless to say, before I left, we exchanged numbers so I could call and get the boys together on the weekends.  I even mentioned about going snowboarding.  The mom seemed so happy and almost slightly relieved like this was the break she’d been waiting for.  This was the holiday spirit!  Showing kindness to strangers and reaching out to help.  At that moment I realized that I was part of a Christmas blessing, all because of one little boy, my Kyle.  I have said it and I’ll say it again, Kyle continues to teach me about life.

During Santa’s Workshop, I was talking to the parents and my birthday came up, that it was around the corner.  You know what?  I received a text message from the mom wishing me a Happy Birthday!  She said she couldn’t remember when it was but how totally sweet!!  Yep, there IS more good in the world than bad.

Published inEducation & LearningFamilyObservation & ImaginationSnowboarding

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